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Queen’s alumnus chosen as inaugural Sigurdson Professor

Faculty of Law announces Robert Yalden (Artsci'84) will fill the new position created by an endowment supported by alumni and donors.

Robert Yalden (Artsci'84), one of Canada’s foremost corporate lawyers, has been named as the inaugural Stephen Sigurdson Professor in Corporate Law and Finance.

[Robert Yalden]
Robert Yalden (Artsci'84), a nationally-recognized corporate lawyer, joins Queen's Law as its first Sigurdson Professor. (Supplied photo)

This new position commemorates the memory of Stephen Sigurdson (Law’84), one of Canada’s most well-respected corporate lawyers. The $1.5-million endowment to establish a professorship in his name was created through the contributions of alumni and donors.

“As a young lawyer, I had the privilege of working with Steve at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP,” Yalden says. “He was an exceptionally talented role model and a wonderful mentor, and I’m especially pleased to be the first Sigurdson Professor.”

Yalden, who graduated from Queen’s with an Honours BA in 1984 before earning law degrees at the University of Oxford (MA), the University of Toronto (LLB) and l'Université de Montréal (LLB), also served as a law clerk to Justice Bertha Wilson of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1989-90. He brings a wealth of professional experience to the Sigurdson Professorship, having practised law with Osler for more than 25 years. He is a business law partner and head of the Corporate Department in the firm’s Montreal office, as well as the co-chair of Osler’s Mergers and Acquisitions Group, and has served as a member of Osler’s Executive Committee.

He is also no stranger to academia.

“I've taught courses on business law at McGill and U of T and published in the area since the early 1990s,” he says. “The opportunity to be part of a Queen’s Law community that’s thinking and writing about issues in this area day-in and day-out, and to work with talented students and colleagues who have a passion for sustained dialogue about these questions is something that I know will be endlessly rewarding.”

Yalden lauds Dean Bill Flanagan’s efforts to solidify the reputation of Queen’s Law as a leader in business law teaching and scholarship in Canada.

“Creating the Sigurdson Professorship and the Allgood Professorship in Business Law is an incredibly valuable way to build momentum that will continue to propel the Faculty’s business law program to new heights,” Yalden says. “These professorships speak to a desire on the part of the Faculty, as well as its alumni and friends, to ensure that Queen’s Law is an important contributor to dialogue and debate about pressing issues in corporate law and finance. It’s more important than ever to have centres of excellence committed to thinking about an area of law that has a profound impact on significant parts of Canadian society and on our economic and social well-being.”

The Sigurdson Professorship promises to do that and more. As Dean Flanagan notes, it will build on a robust existing business law program that includes not only the Allgood Professorship, but also the Bader International Study Centre program in international business law, the Queen’s Business Law Clinic, and the Law’80 Visiting Scholar in Business Law program.